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Neighborhood Eats: McDowell Local

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For this week's Neighborhood Eats, we headed to downtown Marion to new spot making waves along Main Street.

McDowell Local opened its doors in March. Many of the dishes are locally sourced right from McDowell County. So, you're not just supporting one Marion restaurant, you're actually throwing your weight behind the entire county.

"If you didn't know there was a local butcher shop up the street you'll know now, because that's where the beef comes from," customer Linda Cormier said. "So that's important."

McDowell Local partners with seven area businesses to bring you locally sourced menu items.

"There's a huge bee keeping community here," owner Aaron Mathews said. "We're getting our honey from Sweet Betsy Farms.They're the chairs of the local bee keeping community. The cheese from English Farmstead Cheese is hard to beat. They make phenomenally good stuff."

Customers say the focus on local sources pays off in the final project.

"The burgers are so juicy and the fries are always so crispy. They're my favorite," customer Elizabeth Thume said.

Even though Aaron and Lauren Mathews opened up just a few weeks ago, they say they already have a lot of regular customers.

"People that eat here a couple of times a week, which we really appreciate," Mathews said.

The Mathews are no strangers to the restaurant business. At one time, they co-owned My Father's Pizza in Black Mountain, and Aaron worked for a time at the Grove Park Inn. But it's in McDowell County where they've really found their niche.

"The joke is you get twice the house for half the money, and while that is true, that's not the only draw," Mathews said. "This is a very strong community. It's actually very surprising to me how supportive everyone has been of every single business that has popped up recently."

McDowell Local is located at 84 South Main Street in Marion. Check their website for their menu and hours of operation.

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